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Subjectivity, Sociality and Poetic Procedure in Mid-Twentieth Century American Confessional and Avant-Garde Poetry

Peddie, Katharine (2020) Subjectivity, Sociality and Poetic Procedure in Mid-Twentieth Century American Confessional and Avant-Garde Poetry. Master of Philosophy (MPhil) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.82442) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:82442)

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Abstract

This dissertation uses the confessional poet Robert Lowell as a focal point for discussing concerns around self and poetic procedure through which the division between the 'mainstream' confessional poetry and the avant-garde poetry of the American mid-twentieth century has been theorized.

This is done by tracing the routes that Lowell and various poets in or associated with the avant-garde anthology The New American Poetry took out of the same modernist or pre-modernist precursors established as the precursors of the New American Poetry: William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, and, later in the thesis, Walt Whitman. These are looked at with emphasis on how selves, I voices and their interpersonal and intertextual relationships are procedurally constituted. I use Lowell to allow an exploration of self into academic criticism of a period in the avant-garde where self was a much more fundamental part of the poetic than has often been acknowledged, and use the avant garde to test the limits of Lowell's conception of self. This thesis thus concentrates on procedures - collage, translation, confession - as explorations of the self, its relations to others, and agency.

What Lowell and the avant-garde take from Pound, Williams, and Whitman, in my thesis, is a series of ideas about the self and its relations and agency, and a set of procedures for exploring and constituting these relations that they build and innovate upon. As self, agency and procedure increasingly become the critical questions being asked of politically engaged poetry in our contemporary moment, tracing a history of this - rather than a binary history of the avant-garde as procedural and the confessional as egotistic - allows a tracing of the development of these political questions and how they can and have been formulated.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Philosophy (MPhil))
Thesis advisor: Herd, David
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.82442
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 09/02/2022
Uncontrolled keywords: Confessional Poetry; New American Poetry; Translation; Collage
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2020 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 14:49 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/82442 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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